On a + note

The power of the camera. #34: 2011

Posted in on a + note by Admin on October 10, 2011

Several weeks ago, during the last few days of warm weather in southwestern Ontario, I was walking with a lifelong friend. We were snapping photos when she said, “Why do we take photographs? What is it about photographs that you like so much? You’ve been snapping all your life…or as long as I can remember.”

We laughed, I pointed my camera at her, and we played duelling photographers. This morning, that conversation came back to me, and I began to wonder in earnest why I am such a shutterbug.

The photo obsession started long ago when I got my first Brownie box camera and started snapping pictures of friends, family, and of course, the ever-patient family dog, Shadow ! With black and white film, it was an expensive hobby. There was always the deferred gratification of taking the whole film in for processing and waiting two or three weeks until the photos came back! However, in the last ten years (and with the instant gratification of digital photography), I have started taking photos at work. I take photos of programs, people, posters, buildings, and meetings. You name it, and I likely have photographed it. Why this lifelong obsession with the camera?

  • To share the adventure. It’s like sharing a book; there is nothing better than sending a friend or a peer a photo!
  • To capture moments that have captured me.
  • To document our lives and that of the libraries.
  • Because I am a visual person, and the photograph is where technology and art intersect…especially new technologies.
  • Because I don’t trust my memory!
  • For me, a photo is often easier than explaining the situation, because a picture is worth a 1,000 words!
  • It is a lot easier than picking up a pencil and sketching.
  • Photography is portable and relatively easy.
  • Photos are a very social media, and one of the key benefits of social networking sites like Facebook.
  • Because I am a librarian!

For all these reasons and many more, I am a shutterbug and likely to be one for the rest of my life. My apologies and thanks to my friends family, peers, and dogs who have been so patient.

Kitty Pope
kpope@library.guelph.on.ca                                                                  #35 October 2011


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